Study Guide

The Color Purple Letter Sixty-Four

By Alice Walker

Letter Sixty-Four

  • A letter from Nettie.
  • Nettie writes that a road is being built through the Olinka village. The children and villagers gather around to watch the progress of the road. They also feed the road-builders tons of food.
  • We find out that Nettie has been in the Olinka village for five years now.
  • Samuel is worried that they will soon have nothing new to teach Adam and Olivia. Many missionaries send their children back to England for schooling, but Adam and Olivia love the village.
  • Corrine and Nettie are no longer close friends. Also, Nettie and the kids look more alike all the time.
  • Corrine puts restrictions on Nettie and Samuel’s friendship. Samuel is no longer allowed to go to Nettie’s hut unless Corrine is there too. Essentially, this means that Nettie now has very little company.
  • No one in the village but Tashi is willing to hear about slavery. They don’t want to be held accountable in any way.
  • Tashi’s father dies during the rainy season and her mother, Catherine, now encourages Tashi’s education.
  • Samuel is confused by polygamy. He sees that the wives of a single man are often friends. He can’t help but think that if the women are friends and help each other, can polygamy be such a bad thing?
  • Nettie says that a man’s wives often spoil him so that he’s practically a big baby. The problem is that the men are kept childish, but have the power to have their wives killed.